Photograph of Matthew Downton

MK Community Foundation Appoint New Chair of Trustees

Milton Keynes’ grantgiving charity, MK Community Foundation, is welcoming a new Chair of Trustees.

Milton Keynes Community Foundation is pleased to announce its appointment of Matthew Downton as the charity’s new Chair of Trustees. Matthew is an experienced strategic and operational change leader, a qualified Chartered Management Accountant, he has worked for many years in senior finance positions. 

Matthew is currently Director of Finance, Operations and Projects for Professional Standards at ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).  

Following the Community Foundations Annual General Meeting, Matthew Downton took over as Chair of Trustees in October.


MK Community Foundation’s CEO, Ian Revell, said:

“We are thrilled to announce that our chair recruitment process has culminated in the appointment of Matthew Downton. Matthew initially approached the MK Community Foundation with the aim of establishing a fund to support Ethnically Diverse Communities’ access to professions. 

It is remarkable how Matthew has evolved from being a funder to becoming an integral part of the Foundation. We are excited to have him lead our diverse team of trustees as we embark on our strategic journey for the next three years.” 

Matthew succeeds Kurshida Mirza BEM, who recently completed her 3-year tenure as chair, and trusteeship of 5 years. 


Kurshida shared: 

“On taking the responsibility of Chair for the Board of Trustees of the MK Community Foundation in 2020, my aim has been to lead by example and this has permeated in the positive changes we have made not only in terms of equity, diversity and inclusion but also to our way of working from the introduction of key performance information for each area of our work measured and scrutinised in details by individual committees and the Board. 

This has ensured that the Foundation stays relevant and fit for purpose, taking an evidence-based approach to directing our support and resources to where it is most needed.” 

The former chair expressed their confidence in Matthew to continue the Foundations journey towards achieving its strategic goals: 

“It is with great pride that I step down knowing that the Foundation will continue its journey to build a FAIRER community which has at its core a thriving and financially sustainable VCCS (Voluntary, Community and Culture Sector).  I am delighted to hand the reins to Matthew Downton.” 


Reflecting on Kurshida’s tenure, Matthew said: 

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful job that my predecessor, Kurshida Mirza, has done during her term as Chair. We wish her well in her new adventures. 

Under Kurshida’s stewardship, with crucial support from funders and the fantastic efforts of the MKCF team, the organisation is going from strength to strength with grant giving and promoting philanthropy across our city.” 


Matthew expressed his enthusiasm on the appointment, saying: 

“I am excited and honoured to take on the role of Chair of Trustees at Milton Keynes Community Foundation. I am looking forward to working with my fellow trustees and the fantastic team led by CEO Ian Revell. The Community Foundation represents all that is positive about charities, it has a bold and relevant strategy and a strong record of success. 

Our Vital Signs research guides our strategy, and the organisation listens to and supports the voices of local charities. It is key that we send funding where it is most needed and therefore our priorities include poverty, inclusion, the environment, and sustainability.”

Established over 35 years ago, MK Community Foundation is a grant-making charity sending funding where it is needed most in Milton Keynes. Over those years they have awarded over £18m in rent subsidies and £15m in grant programmes to the local voluntary and community sectors of Milton Keynes.